[Kamikaze] Take It Back | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] Take It Back

photo

Brad Franklin

Being a born and bred Jacksonian, I can say I've lived on every "side" of this city. I've seen the good and the bad up close, met some treasures, and met some trash.

Most recently I made a move I felt was good for my family. I've been a resident of Fondren for a while now. The neighborhood always struck me as quiet, quaint and friendly. It proved to be more walkable than most neighborhoods and gave me that small-town air that has always permeated through Jackson. The people were friendly, and they welcomed my family with open arms. The staff at Sal & Mookie's knows your favorite dish, and the managers at McDade's know you by face or name. It's simply one of the coolest places in Jackson to live.

With that said, I was first disappointed, then angered by a Facebook invite I got days ago. The event called for residents to meet up at Sneaky Beans if you wanted to "Take Back Your Neighborhood." It likened Fondren and Belhaven to a "war zone." It said our neighborhood had been taken over by violence, and we needed to protect ourselves.

I paused. I then got up and looked out my front door. I wondered where this "war zone" was that I hear folks talk about when referencing Jackson. I always look for scenes like those we see from Beirut or Iraq or Afghanistan. Those are "war zones," and since those aren't the images I see daily as I drive through Fondren, I had no other choice but to think someone was severely misinformed.

I will argue this point home vehemently. I will not be swayed. Frankly, I'm fed up. Jackson is not a war zone. We are not riddled with crime. Violence is not the order of the day here. Not in Fondren. Not in Belhaven. Not anywhere.

Don't be fooled by propaganda and fear mongering. Leave that to our neighbors. Fact is, I've been a victim of crime. I've had my home broken into in south Jackson, had items stolen from my car in west Jackson, had my apartment broken into in the Briarwood area, and most recently, had my vehicle and my wife's vehicle broken into in front of our home—in Fondren. Yet we stand steadfast in the knowledge that crime can and will happen anywhere.

With a growing city come growing-city problems. I have no issue with neighbors looking out for one another. I have no problem with finding solutions to crime. All of us want to be safe. But what I won't participate in and what I will fight is hysteria. Jackson is nothing more than a desirable place to live with great people who all want to live and prosper.

Take back our neighborhoods? Certainly; if it means taking them back from the propaganda machine.

Let's unite, but for the right reasons.

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
156542
Comment

Your passion for Fondren & Jackson is remarkable given the crimes you have experienced personally. With the recent rape in Belhaven and shooting on Downing many citizens are applying for pistols and the license to conceal them. The JPD cannot say affirmatively that one is safe on the streets at night and that citizens have to determine personal safety for themselves. News, print, & entertainment media is hysterical with the exception of JFP?! Your name is Kamikaze... should we infer anything from that? Perhaps you have developed stronger nervous and ideological determination than the average citizen of this place? I say yes you have.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2010-03-05T10:49:46-06:00
ID
156543
Comment

Aeroscout News Flash JPD will NEVER be able to declare with 100% certainty that a street or neighborhood is safe. Methinks at times folks are desiring a utopian ideal where you'll never have to worry about crime. When the fact is as long as there is poverty. As long as there are slums with folks willing to take from others because they don't have then there will be crime. I am just as vulnerable if I was nestled behind a gate on Meadowbrook I WOULD still have to be alert. Because I'm no fool. If someone wants what you have they will try to break in. A Gate and roving security will curb but won't stop it. If its your day its your day. Hysteria? Yes indeed! Plain and simple. It gets ratings and sells papers and gets hits on blogs. Period. It is what it is. YES we have crime duh? But it is no more than any other place and we definitely aren't a war zone and criminals have certainly NOT taken over our neighborhoods And My name has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that its a moniker I've used in my hiphop career.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2010-03-05T11:59:07-06:00
ID
156550
Comment

2 things 1)You didn't mention the shooting that was one of the causes of the meeting. 2)I can see being upset at the wording but I would much rather see people take an interest in the neighborhood than just move. Wouldn't you?

Author
KendallVarnell
Date
2010-03-05T16:41:24-06:00
ID
156558
Comment

Everything that happens in Jackson becomes a story because that's what CL and overs think people want to hear. Also, I have never seen so many people in the metro area become as interested in Jackson as they are now. Could it be that Jackson is doing big things and they would like those efforts curtailed so it slow some of the growth in their areas? Jackson has over 175K people. Imagine how much money these areas are making off of the citizens of Jackson. Aeroscout, instead of focusing on the negative maybe we should do like the people in the Metro areas areas and try to uplift our city. Whenever I see a negative blog about Jackson, I try to write a positive blog to counteract. Maybe that's where we should all start . You are Buddist then you understand the quote by Sangharakshita, “We cannot help others without helping ourselves, we cannot help ourselves without helping others". Let's start there....

Author
Tell it!
Date
2010-03-06T12:06:57-06:00
ID
156573
Comment

I believe the alleged "recent rape in Belhaven" was in point of fact an attempted rape and also that due to good community members being alert the perpetrator was apprehended when he came back to Laurel Park. Just getting facts clear there.

Author
Izzy
Date
2010-03-08T08:36:09-06:00
ID
156584
Comment

Kendall, there is nothing wrong with getting people mobilized and keeping them informed about problems in their community. What bothers some people is when rhetoric such as "warzone" is used, which implies a much worse and dire situation than what actually exists. Citizens can be informed and encouraged to get involved in their community without using hype language designed to scare them to death. Trying to scare them into action could have the unintended consequence of actually encouraging them to leave.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2010-03-08T12:28:42-06:00
ID
156591
Comment

Kaze, you could take an anti-war step by dropping the hiphop and militant sounding moniker.A more peaceful name and your positive views would ring true to your readers. I will take a new one if you will. I am very positive on Jackson as I donated a few photos to the recent JFP "Boom" edition. I have a few more realistic photos that are absent from my Flickr set because I am more positive on Jackson's social development. Recent neighborhood violence on Downing (my personal walking path) gives me pause. The Cherokee Park recently announced is positive but the decision not to include a basketball court due to youth problem anticipation is disturbing. Gangs, family problems, emphasis on younger children, teenage drug abuse & violence are no doubt the considerations in omitting a court from the plan.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2010-03-08T13:34:49-06:00

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